Designing for an active family home is always a fun challenge.  Children, pets, and a lifestyle of entertaining definitely contribute to the good life. Worrying about your home furnishings does not. Below are the five key items you should take into consideration when designing for your active family.

large-file-burgess1. Working with Fabrics

I often specify outdoor fabrics for indoor use when I know it’s a high-use area.  Long gone are the days when outdoor fabrics were crunchy and stiff. Now they are quite luxurious!  You can even find beautiful velvet outdoor fabrics that look exactly like a standard indoor fabric.  If you are going to use a standard indoor fabric in a high-use area, choose a pattern or a texture.  They hide dirt and stains much better than a solid fabric.  Surprisingly, white slipcovers that are washable are a commonly used solution by designers. Another option is to have your fabrics pre-treated to repel stains.  There are many options to keeping your fabrics looking as good as the day you installed them!

2. Adding Movable Furniture

A common issue for my clients that entertain is having enough seating for family and friends. My favorite solution is using poufs or ottomans. Their light weight and portability allow for flexibility to rearrange seating.  You can easily coordinate the colors with your main entertaining rooms given the variety of fabric options. Thus you can maintain the beauty of your space. Problem solved and they look great!

3. Going Green

When a family is rushing to get out of the house off to work, school and errands, there is little time for plant maintenance. Succulents are a great solution! They add a sculptural element to a space as well as softness, life and color.  The best part is they are eco-friendly because they don’t require much water.

collage-burgess 24. Flooring

Hardwood floors are a great solution for a family friendly home. The key is to choose a wood that has a matte finish rather than a shiny finish.  Matte finishes do not show scratches as much as shiny finishes. Also, make sure the wood has a bit of distressing or hand-scraping.  If you get a ding or a scratch on those types of floors, the defect actually adds to the character rather than making it look damaged.

5. Area Rugs

Area rugs are a must to add softness to hard surface flooring such as tile or wood.  For a high use space in need of an area rug, check out Flor.com. They offer area rug tiles that can be linked together to form many different color options and styles. If a single tile gets damaged, it can easily be replaced. Another great solution is to use a standard wall-to-wall carpet cut to your desired size and have the edges bound for a finished edge. I especially like the newer shag varieties because they are soft and fluffy on the toes.  And YES, shag is back….in a big way! 🙂

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